Automatic voice relay with open source Kiara
Tucker, William David
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One way for Deaf people to communicate with hearing people over the telephone is to use a voice relay. The service is often provided with a human relay operator that relays text into voice, and vice versa, on behalf of the Deaf and hearing users. In developed countries, voice relay is frequently subsidised by governments or service providers. There is no such service in South Africa. We have built several automatic voice relay systems for a disadvantaged Deaf community in Cape Town. This paper describes how we augmented a general-purpose communication system for voice relay. Kiara is a fully open source Instant Messaging, voice and video over Internet Protocol communication system based on the Session Initiation Protocol. We integrated automatic speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies into Kiara to provide real-time automatic voice relay for relayed communication. As it stands, Kiara can also be used for standard voice and video relay with a human operator.